Najib benefited from 1MDB scheme, gave instructions via Jho Low and knew his role, says former CEO

KUALA LUMPUR : Datuk Seri Najib Razak had personally benefited from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scheme where the government-owned company lost massive sums of money to the tune of billions of ringgit, the company’s former CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi asserted in court today.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on September 3, 2020. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Datuk Seri Najib Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on September 3, 2020. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

Shahrol Azral said this while testifying as the ninth prosecution witness in Najib’s power abuse and money-laundering trial over more than RM2 billion of 1MDB fundsnull

Shahrol Azral also testified that Najib was not in the dark about 1MDB’s affairs but had known about the matters relating to the company and was also allegedly giving instructions on the company’s affairs through businessman Low Taek Jho.

Today under re-examination by lead prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, Shahrol Azral listed Najib as one of the beneficiaries of 1MDB’s transactions where 1MDB’s funds were lost.

Sri Ram: In hindsight, do you know who benefited from these transactions?null

Shahrol Azral: In hindsight, based on the documents that were shown to me both in court and during the investigations, the beneficiaries are at least Jho Low, Casey Tang, Jasmine Loo, Tarek Obaid, Patrick Mahony, Khadem Al-Qubaisi, Mohamed Badawy Al-Husseiny, as well as Datuk Seri Najib.

Shahrol Azral also maintained his testimony that he himself had not benefited financially or received any money from transactions where 1MDB’s funds were lost.

Sri Ram also noted that Low Taek Jho or Jho Low had previously been cited in news reports produced in court as having played a fraudulent role in 1MDB affairs, and also noted that Shahrol Azral had previously disagreed with Najib’s lawyers’ suggestion that Najib knew nothing of the role that Low had played.

Sri Ram then asked Shahrol Azral to explain, saying: “In early part of the cross-examination, you denied that suggestion that the accused was not aware, so can you explain to His Lordship now what led you to believe that the accused was aware of what Jho Low was doing?”

Shahrol Azral then replied that Najib was well aware of 1MDB affairs: “It is a pattern of the actions and the decisions made throughout not only my tenure as CEO from 2009 to 2013, but also more so actually after that in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, that dovetails with the talking points as I stated earlier as well as the decisions that were made by the management and board.”

“As a matter of fact, there was one or two specific occasions that I had very brief chats with Datuk Seri Najib, where I saw that he had a firm grasp of what’s happening within the company,” said Shahrol Azral, who was 1MDB CEO from 2009 to 2013 and subsequently was 1MDB director from 2013 to 2016.

Sri Ram: So it was not as if he was in the dark?

Shahrol Azral: No, not in any point of time did I see that. At least that’s my perception.

Najib’s trial before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah resumes next Monday.

BY : IDA LIM – MALAY MAIL

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